tv Newsmakers CSPAN August 21, 2016 10:00am-10:35am EDT
zimbabwe. joining us from new york to talk about donald trump's campaign is his friend and political consultant, roger stone. monica have with us langley and alex isenstadt. a national political reporter with politico. mr. stone, tell our viewers how often you talk to mr. trump and are you advising him on his campaign? roger: i have known donald for 39 years. almost 40. we talk from time to time. i decline to characterize the content of those conversations because they are personal and private. i am a veteran of nine republican campaigns for president of the united states. i have great affection for donald trump and his family and i am a strong supporter. even i am shocked by the
incredible way he won the republican nomination based on force of personality and all communications strategy. i count myself as a trump friend. i have no formal nor informal role but i do have access to all the right people. >> i want to ask you about the news of the day which is the big shakeup that happened this week with stephen bannon taking over the campaign. do you think this is a good move and could you talk about these people and why you think they have been elevated? roger: i argue with your premise. i don't think stephen bannon has taken over the campaign. he has joined the campaign team. kellyanne was already deeply involved in the campaign and already had a title.
somebodymployees that left and that hasn't happened and is not going to happen. the trump operation has always been more skeletal than the clinton monolith where you have hundreds of employees on the campaign payroll. stephen bannon is a friend of mine, a fellow revolutionary. he thinks outside of the box. he has written some of the strongest and most interesting and important exposes of clinton corruption, including bill's sexual assaults on women and the reactions of the women who he has assaulted, and hillary's role in that. he has covered all of this. i know our critics say that is a conspiracy theory. trump in bed with the russians and paul manafort, that's a conspiracy theory. i like stephen bannon quite a bit. he thinks outside the box.
it will take this kind of thinking to overcome the clinton machine. guest: to follow up on that, roger, i met you -- you don't remember this, but we were both really young in 1988 and you were a partner then with paul manafort. he is not leaving the campaign but do you think he feels he has been layered over? or do you think he maintains his position as chairman? roger: he has maintained his position. these folks have joined a team. paul manafort has deep experience in presidential politics. stephen bannon, who i love, has none.
they are very talented individuals. manafort remains the chairman. his job was to bring order to the campaign and he has done that. this is an expansion rather than a shakeup. guest: what impact do you think bannon will have on the campaign? he is a firebrand. do you see trump going back to more of his old ways during the primaries? one thing i have written is this allows trump to fashion the campaign in his own image. more than the campaign trying to put him in a box. do you agree with that and what impact do you think we will see going forward in the fall? roger: i don't think there's any evidence that he has changed his campaign style since the
primaries. he is unscripted. he is unprogrammed, he is not phony and reading off of polling or focus groups, not using material by the senior staff, he's not using talking points. he is genuine and authentic. that is what is working for donald trump. i think the good news here is that bannon may succeed in sharpening the attack on hillary. whether it is a corruption of the foundation, her tenure at the state department, the e-mail issues. it seems to me to have a scandal a day when it comes to hillary clinton. sadly, "the new york times," owned by the largest single donor to the clinton foundation, likes to hook up stories about paul manafort, putting them on
page one when there is no evidence that he did anything illegal. they put an allegation on page one. disgraceful. beneath the standards of "the new york times." but where is the story on the clinton foundation? a lot has transpired there. but the coverage in "the times" of those scandals has been scant, to say the least. guest: you have been doing this a long time and the reality is you look at the polling in swing you look at the polling in swing states and there is little doubt that donald trump is behind. can you speak on why that is the case? is it anyone's fault? has donald trump done something wrong on the campaign trail and what can be done to try to fix that as we head into the labor day holiday?
roger: first of all, because donald trump was ahead immediately after the republican national convention, it demonstrates structurally that he can win the race. i have been looking at a lot of the polls. at no place do i see him out of range. i do think he has to make this election about hillary, but at the same time, the mainstream media has tried hard to make this race about donald trump. the incumbent, hillary, represents four more years of exactly what we have now, perhaps worse. it has to be a referendum on her and the democrats. they are the ones in power. some of your colleagues, not you, but some of your colleagues have been almost hysterical in their attempts to discredit or embarrass donald trump. when he makes an error, he's not
an experienced politician and will make mistakes, yet they are magnified into enormous mistakes. yet when hillary has refuses to have a press conference or comment on new e-mails showing her doing favors for multinational corporations or foreign national governments, again, that gets very little coverage. i think the coverage has affected these numbers. it would be really good if some in the media would cover the substance of donald trump speeches. host: one way you make this about your opponent is by framing them in campaign ads. was it a mistake for donald trump campaign to not be running ads? they plan to do so starting friday. hillary clinton has spent $60 million so far running these ads. roger: what did that $60 million get you?
a slight lead over donald trump? based on the primaries, i think we have reached the time in america where the ubiquitous negative tv ads are not having the effect that they once had. voters have become very skeptical of that. they are very dissatisfied. they know that special interest paid for those ads. they know trump -- i think voters more and more are seeing paid advertising with a jaundiced eye. that's not to say that the donald trump campaign will not run them, but donald himself is not a huge believer in paid advertising. based on his experience to date, he seems to have been borne out. guest: you are blaming a lot of the problems in the media but
mr. trump has made a lot of unforced errors. because the last two to three weeks have been difficult for him, he has made these errors and has not been able to exploit the things you have mentioned, the campaign of clinton, he could have exploited. what do you think, having stephen bannon there will help him to get out the case against clinton because he knows a lot about hillary and bill clinton? do you think it will help him make less unforced errors. now that he feels better with the new team. he was feeling caught between wanting to follow his gut instincts and being a
politician. he now feels so much better this week, he has performed better on the trail with the speeches he has done. there has been a renewed donald trump coming into labor day? do you think stephen bannon will help him stay focused on clinton? roger: i think bannon can help him sharpen the attack on the clinton record and i also think that stephen bannon brings a deep understanding of the new media. this is something that has been missing from that donald trump effort. although donald has set the world on fire in terms of his personal twitter account, which has become one of the greatest communication tools since "the new york times." beyond that, the campaign has not been sophisticated in its use of new media.
we will see more aggressive digital campaigns. that is significant. we're in the middle of a major shift away from broadcast television, away from cable, to more targeted digital advertising. millennial voters are not watching cable or broadcast. they are watching their devices when they feel like it. that is a sea change that he understands. >> i have been watching your twitter account. you continue to be very critical of corey lewandowski, donald trump's first campaign manager. i'm wondering why that is. why you felt the need to speak out against corey lewandowski. do you think he set the campaign back and how do you see that?
roger: when you put out a tweet and connect "the new york times" story, which is bogus, but a tax -- but attacks donald trump's campaign chairman, i don't understand how you can think that helps the campaign or help donald trump. particularly in this case. center of anot the investigation. there are no bank records that say he received an illicit $12 million. all of his filings are proper because he never represented the russian or ukrainian government. the constant shooting at paul manafort is counterproductive. what do you expect from an advance man? he cannot seem to get over the fact that he really hurt this campaign. they lost months and that is why they are still building organizations in the state, things that should have been done months ago. if he is going to continue to
attack the campaign and campaign chairman, i will continue to attack him. >> what do you know about the wikileaks founder suggestion that there will be an october surprise against hillary clinton and her e-mails from her to -- her two closest aides? i have seen you hinting. have you spoken with the wikileaks founder? roger: i think julian assange is a hero. he is taking on the deep state. i should say that i see that election in these terms. unlike any presidential campaign we have had previously, this campaign is insiders versus an outsider. it is the leadership of the elites of the republican and democratic party versus donald
trump and everyone else. assange has been a deep critic of the bush administration. based on communications and no, i have not spoken to him or met with him. i never said i had. i said we communicated through an intermediary, somebody who is a mutual friend. i believe that he is in possession of all of those e-mails that clinton aides believe they deleted. that and a lot more. these are like the watergate tapes. these are going to come back, they are indelible. the voters will find them highly informational. i don't know that this will happen in october. there is an enormous amount of material here. he could drop documents before each debate. i think it's important to point out that the dnc documents that implicated deborah wasserman schultz did not come from the
russians, as hillary and her camp have claimed. wikileaks put them out and they got enormous traction. i expect you are going to see more from mr. assange who again, i think is a hero. guest: the next big event on this campaign will be the first presidential debate coming up in september. what do you think we can expect from donald trump in terms of the debate? what he will say in terms of substance and also, what do you think his performance in the republican debate, what does that tell us how he will perform in the general election? roger: i think he did very well in the republican debates. i think he won almost all of them.
there is one i would call a draw, but i think he performed in all of them, in view of the fact that he has never done this before. all of his opponents had run for state and local offices. the only thing predictable about donald trump is the fact that he is entirely unpredictable. you don't know where he is going to come at hillary. you don't know whether it's going to be in regard to bill clinton's selling military secrets, missile guidance secrets to the chinese in return for campaign contributions, or whether it will be the 1994 crime bill that incarcerated an entire generation of black men, african-americans for nonviolent crimes. hillary said it was necessary because blacks were super predators who needed to be brought to heel. perhaps he will focus on the clinton foundation or focus on
benghazi and the lies hillary told in her testimony before congress. perhaps it will be this new round of lies she apparently told to the congress regarding her e-mail. you never know where donald trump might come, but he is a brawler. if she attacks them as a misogynist, she will be opening the door to the full story. shall i continue? guest: would you advise donald trump to bring up bill clinton's past? would you advise him to bring up the lewinsky scandal? roger: bill clinton is not running for president. hillary clinton led the campaign
to intimidate, bully, and threaten those women into silence. that is a provable fact. i expect in the fall that many of these women will be speaking out. i know that people will seek to discredit them. all of that is false. anybody who has been through sexual assault does not want to relive it. it is relevant to hillary. i think attacking bill clinton's record is only salient when it is relevant to hillary, where she has defended it, supported it or in this case where she has acted as an accessory after the fact to what i consider to be sex crimes. guest: one thing that trump and you have alleged frequently is
that this election could be rigged. why do say that? do you think that is a dangerous thing to be saying for democracy? roger: it is a dangerous thing to not be saying. yes, i believe that there is a distinction between voter fraud and election theft. i can see that voter fraud is limited. isis not nonexistent but it limited. i think it will be focused around an attempt to have illegals vote in a number of states. election theft is something very different. that is the fixing of the machine, which is easily done. a princeton professor demonstrated how easily it is and pointed to a number of situations where it may have occurred. the only way it can be proven is where you exit polls
compare the results of the exit polls to the actual results on the machines. the other way it could be prevented would be to allow a third party, truly unbiased, to look at the software before the voting begins. i wrote an extensive peace an extensive peace on this -- the stanford university study showed the voting machines were rigged against bernie sanders in many states. anybody who believes these machines cannot be rigged easily and have not been rigged easily by the party in power is being naive, in my opinion. you can take a $15 device you can get at best buy and vote multiple times.
this is a real issue. we live in a technological age. these machines can be rigged for a desired result. the precursor to that, of course, is to inflate the polls so you create an expectation and you make the machines reflect that outcome. when reuters got caught red-handed inflating the sample on the democratic side to enhance a lead by hillary clinton, it is evidence to me that this may be what is afoot. guest: there have been a lot of reports about tension between various members of donald trump's campaign. i wonder if you buy those reports. what does it say about donald trump's leadership style? will there be future personnel changes?
roger: i do think that the donald trump campaign will continue to expand and bring in new people. they are running a very skeletal, low-cost operation. this is a guerrilla campaign versus a well oiled, longtime political machine. i liken that to the british royal army opposing the american colonists. i think bannon and paul manafort will have greater tactical flexibility. and a better understanding of the new media -- i think they can make this a race. guest: what does the republican party stand for today? when i first met you, you were working for the first george bush. today, you are working for the ultimate outsider. advising him informally.
what does the republican party stand for today? you've gone from one extreme to the next. roger: to be clear, i have never been a bush republican. i wrote a book entitled "the bush crime family." which you can get on amazon. baker, iquest of jim did go to california at the very end of the 1988 campaign and take the reins. and george bush beat michael dukakis by one point in california. every republican president has remade the party in his own image. lincoln, grant, mckinley, eisenhower, nixon, reagan. if donald trump is successful, he will remake the party in his image. it will no longer be a wall street-k street party. as someone with great sentimental attachment to the republican party of goldwater, i
am afraid my party has morphed into the big-money party. the endless war party. the party that has eroded our civil liberties. the party that supported bailouts for the swindlers and crooks on wall street. the party of an incoherent but expensive neocon foreign-policy. i think the party will change. it has already changed. in all truth, donald trump's nomination was a hostile takeover of the old republican party. the old republican party is tied to 30 years of bipartisan bad decision-making. the policies of the bushes and clintons have been identical. and they have run us to where we are today. host: roger stone, thank you for being this week's newsmaker. let me turn to our reporters for a quick wrap up.
the polls, donald trump likes to recognize the polls when he is ahead. what is happening now with polling? roger stone is skeptical. is his argument something that the donald trump campaign believes? guest: the numbers are what they are. there is a proliferation of data in swing states and all points in the same direction. donald trump is not just behind but behind significantly. time is running short. it is almost labor day. early voting begins in some states. and donald trump is behind. he hasn't really begun running tv ads. he lacks campaign infrastructure. he is starting to run against the clock. host: you broke the story about the staff changes. we will call them that. what were you told about these changes?
guest: when i called him two nights ago as he was about to go on stage in wisconsin, and i want to to confirm that he was shaking up his campaign -- i said, why are you doing this right now? he said, i want to win. plain and simple. i think he was a big lover of the polls when he was ahead. now he is not touting the polls. clearly, by saying, i want to win, he was reasserting, i will not take this sitting down. underlying that is, i'm afraid i wouldn't if i didn't do something. it is the first time he felt he had to remake this campaign to support the person i am. in ae did it from bringing new ceo to the small step of moving his campaign from the toth floor in trump tower
putting them on the 14th floor , plushrporate setting carpet with mahogany walls. he says, we are running this like the business and brand that has been successful. this will be my campaign, my way. host: is he accessible like that to reporters? >> if i desperately need him, i will use it. i felt this was a big step and i wanted to talk to him to confirm it. he was about to go on stage. he said, i have 7000 people out here waiting for me. he loves to talk about the thousands of people waiting to see him. he did mention the one poll that showed him down by two. of course, all the other polls show him down by much more but he did mention the one poll that only showed him down by two. i met him many months ago. first reporters
to profile him. i usually profile billionaires and that was one reason i got to know him early on. back in the day, i could reach him more easily. nevertheless, he clearly is under the gun. he has to do something and he has to do it fast. the dealmaker in him knows. when the landscape is changing, i have to change the terms of the deal and that is what he is doing. host: what is the reaction -- what are you hearing about the party? and how they are trying to keep up? >> there are a lot of folks around washington who are starting to move on. they are starting to say, what do we need to do to save the house and senate majorities? that is becoming a bigger concern. republicans are saying -- look. we need to check on hillary clinton and make sure the house and senate are our firewalls.
host: what are you looking for here over the next couple of days? usp question -- can we expect more? guest: i am watching donald trump. i am not following the congressional races. what i'm going to see is -- donald trump does best in two ways. one, when he is in a more corporate setting. i will see if you will start running this the way he ran his brand. two, is he having fun? when he is having fun, as opposed to feeling downtrodden. which he clearly has been -- if you have been a watcher. he has been feeling unhappy. i will look to see, is he feeling good again? he does better than. he is better at clips. he will be fast on his feet. we will watch in the upcoming debate -- he will be fast on his feet. unlike hillary clinton, she is much more cautious.
even when she was criticizing him for his shakeup, she looked at her notes every sentence. he doesn't do that. when i would be on a plane with him, 10 minutes before they would land, then he would get out on a piece of paper and write six words. that is what he goes by until they started giving him the prompter. that is what we will see more of now if he is feeling like he is fun and in charge. >> will the shakeup change? following the shakeup -- and secondly, do you start to see house and senate republicans fleeing, runeir away from him faster than they already have? host: thank you for being a part of newsmakers. for campaign 2016, c-span
continues on the road to the white house. hillary clinton: we need serious leadership. >> we will make america great again. thehead, live coverage of vice presidential debates. monday, september 26 is the first presidential debate live from hops are university. then the vice presidential debate at longwood university in virginia. sunday, october nights, washington university hosts the second presidential debate. leading up to the third and taking place at the ,niversity of nevada, las vegas live coverage of the debates on c-span. listen live on the free c-span radio mobile app. a.night on u.nq and
nancy isenberg discusses her book. "white trash." poor andwere actually white ghettos in places like indianapolis and chicago and they were described in the same derogatory ways of poor blacks who were living in the city. and that is part of the history that we don't talk about. we don't want to face up to the fact of how important class is. on qnight at 8:00 eastern and a. now, a discussion on the situation in zimbabwe. the movement, sparked by a viral video, addresses concerns over